Improving resilience of the inland fisher communities and aquatic systems to overfishing and water resource degradation in Benin

 

This project is funded by the Food and Business Applied Research Fund, and includes as project partnersActions pour l’Environnement et le Développement Durable (ACED), Benin, project coordinator, ACWFS, andLaboratory of Hydrobiology and Aquaculture of the University of Abomey-Calavi (LHA/UAC).  The project explores the vulnerability of the coastal inland fishing sector to increasing pressures on water resources caused by a mounting population, pollution from urban areas and changing climatic conditions. The project studies the functioning of prevailing institutions among fisher communities and tests if regulations are sufficiently resilient to cope with the new challenges. A survey in two selected   lagoons elicits information on regulations to share water resources, household characteristics and gender related tasks. A study on the degradation of inland water resources quantifies the production potential for inland fisheries. The integrated biophysical and survey information constitutes the empirical basis for a decision support tool that should motivate the fishery communities to implement new and sustainable regulations that guarantee the long term development of the inland fishery sector. Special attention is paid to woman’s access to fish processing technologies that contributes to income and increases food security.  Two papers assessing the “tragedy of the commons” and linking food security, trust and conflicts, respectively, are being finalized, based on the survey results.